Bregenz Forest

Bregenzerwald is the name for a region in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg. This mainly comprises the catchment area of ​​Bregenzerach south of Bregenz, near Lake Constance, to the Hochtannbergpass.

  • 3.1 History
  • 3.2 dialect
  • 4.1 Tourism

Notation and the concept

" Bregenzerwald " is the common in Vorarlberg and in most cases also in the rest of Austria notation. In Germany is partly also the notation " Bregenzerwald " used. Dieter Seibert, the author of the Alpine Club leaders of the region, points out that the area is no longer a forest but anthropogenic grass mountains, one can no longer speak "forest" of a Bregenz therefore, but present a region term has, the separate notation so would be out of date.

The name Bregenzerwald Mountains on the other hand is used in connection with the division of the Alps in subgroups. The two terms are not synonymous. The Bregenzerwald also includes parts of the Allgäu Alps and the Lech source Mountains. Conversely, attacks the Bregenzerwald Mountains also in the landscapes of the Rhine valley, the Walgau and the Great Walser Valley.

Location and landscape

The Bregenzerwald is bordered to the west by the located in the Rhine Valley region of Lake Constance, in the north of Germany and Bavaria ( districts of Lindau and Upper Allgäu), in the northeast of the small valley, in the east on Tannberg to the Arlberg region and on the south by the Great Walser Valley.

Communities and Outline

As capital of the Bregenz Forest, Bezau is considered, although the communities Egg, Alberschwende and Andel book are terms of population, greater historical reasons.

Front Bregenzerwald (red)

Rear Bregenzerwald (blue)

The communities Langen and book are indeed in the Lake Constance- Rhine Alps ( Rhine Valley ), but for example, are also places of cheese Route Bregenzerwald.

The communities Egg, Andel book and Schwarzenberg also be referred to frequently as Mittelbregenzerwald.

The district court Bezau does not coincide completely with the region Bregenzerwald: Alberschwende, Doren, Riefensberg and Sulzberg are the judicial district of Bregenz assumed for the small Walser Valley belongs to Bezau court.



Around the year 1000 the then still very wooded Bregenzerwald was settled from Bregenz and cultured.

While the northern parts of the Bregenz Forest belonged ( the courts Alberschwende, Lingenau and Sulzberg ) to rule Bregenz, the courts Damuels and Inner Bregenzerwald were part of the reign of Feldkirch. This 1338 consummated division is the basis for the still popular distinction between the front and rear Bregenzerwald.

1390 coincided with the sale of Feldkirch county of Inner Bregenzerwald and Damuels to Austria, the courts Lingenau and Alberschwende followed 1451st The Tannberg with the Bregenzerwald communities Schröcken and Warth was 1453 Austrian, and in 1523 the Habsburgs acquired finally also the court Sulzberg.

After 1380 formed especially in the Inner Bregenzerwald self-administration of the peasantry out of the forest (known as peasant republic ), with its own free country church, its own constitution ( Landsbrauch ) and high and blood jurisdiction. As head of a country Ammann was chosen mostly from the most distinguished families of the Bregenzerwald. On the Landammännertafel still preserved, there are lots of well known names that were originally derived from the Bregenzerwald, mapped eg Feuerstein, Meusburger, Metzler with their emblems.

The Magistrate was appointed in free choice, his town hall stood on the Bezegg between Bezau and Andel book. Today it reminds the Bezegg - Sul, a stone pillar at the former city hall.

1658 was the final subjection which the monastery Mehrerau dissolved - ie 190 years before the abolition of serfdom in 1848.

So it was the Bregenz forest, in contrast to most farmers of that time, it is possible to settle as free everywhere. It is found mainly in the Swabian numerous names, which go back to the Bregenz Forest.

The rural constitution was abolished during the French Wars and will not be introduced.

At the beginning of the 20th century there were countless Alpine and farms on which the agriculture and livestock industry and the manufacture of cheese were operated. Even today there are still numerous alpine farming, but this is increasingly driven by fewer farmers.

Until about the year 1900, many Bregenzerwälder children from May to October had the Baden-Württemberg, Schwaben ( Germany ) go to work on farms. So there was to feed a child less in the summer time for their parents. These children were known as the Swabian children.

A Bregenzerwald house can be seen on the back of the 100 Schilling banknote from 1970.


To 1814 belonged to the north and northwest parts of the Allgäu to Vorarlberg; this and the fact that throughout the region due to the settlement by the Alamanni the Lake Constance Alemannic since 5 / 6 Century prevailed, led over the centuries not only for a lively exchange of goods, but also - via an appropriately extended Marriage Circle - to linguistic mixing. Especially in the northwestern part of the Bregenz Forest ( = Vorderwald ) the influence of the Allgäuerischen is particularly noticeable; on the other hand dominate in the center and rear Forest linguistic forms that demonstrate a stronger link with the region Hofsteig and Dornbirn. From the outside, but the forests dialect despite these multiple layers and considerable local to small regional peculiarities as an idiom ( " Wälderisch " ) is sensed, the dialects of the other Vorarlberg ( a uniform Vorarlbergisch there is not ) stands out clearly audible.


The population of the Bregenz Forest thrives on tourism, agriculture and a strongly connected with the wood processing industry. Many Bregenzerwald / - in as well as commuters find work in the Rhine Valley, Vorarlberg's economic center. A coalition of trade and business in the region is the workroom Bregenzerwald. Every three years, the competition has " craft form " instead.

In the spring of 2011, the three stages of Agriculture in the Bregenzerwald was included in the Austrian list of intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO. For intangible cultural heritage includes practices, representations, expressions, knowledge and skills that communities and groups understand as part of their cultural heritage and keep for getting and worth protecting. Intangible cultural heritage is passed on from one generation to the next, continually re- designed and gives the communities a sense of identity and continuity. Meanwhile, the Austrian directory has 45 entries, four of which are from Vorarlberg.


The Bregenzerwald is known by gourmets mainly through the Bregenzerwald Cheese Route. The Cheese Route Bregenzerwald is an association of Bregenzerwald farmers, innkeepers, craftsmen and companies that are dedicated to the traditional cheese production. The Bregenzerwald cheese is a widely known beyond the country's borders specialty.

The Bregenzerwaldbahn ( "'s Wälderbähnle " ) is another attraction of the Bregenzerwald. It is a heritage railway that runs on a surviving remnant of the narrow gauge railway. From 1902 to 1983 sailed the " Wälderbähnle " 35.5 km route from Bregenz to Bezau. Until October 2004 you could drive on 6.1 km stretch, but had to make way for road expansion, which is only a distance of 5 km to the available one section.

Since 2000 located in Hittisau in the Bregenz Forest, the only woman to museum in Austria. The museum is dedicated to the creative artist and the living environment of women.

Another museum in the Bregenz Forest is the Angelika Kauffmann Museum in Schwarzenberg. The museum is dedicated to the Baroque painter Angelika Kauffmann and is awarded the Austrian Museum label.

A popular destination is the Bregenzerwald also for its hiking and biking trails and numerous ski resorts. Since 2011, there are several places in city bike - sites where for up to 24 hours bicycles with basket can be borrowed.

The development of the Bregenz Forest is complete. For the tourists, much is being done to provide incentives. Locations were extended and the mountains made ​​accessible by lifts.

The connected municipal offices give May to October a free for guests (from a residence time of 3 nights) Bregenzerwaldcard made ​​to strengthen public transport and at the same time to reduce the individual and leisure traffic. Also, there is free entry into the connected outdoor pools. Furthermore, also free driving with the lift is possible.